MARK THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR!
The 2nd annual Lawler Irish Fest is scheduled for June 20, 21, and 22, 2014. See you there.
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Okay, it’s time to put those Thanksgiving Day turkey bones in the disposal or garbage can and focus on Christmas, snow, and the New Year.
But for a little while…I want to think back and reminisce about Lawler in the late 1940s and entire 1950s where I spent my childhood and teenage years.
There are the ‘hills’ from Mt. Carmel Catholic School heading toward downtown that made for wonderful sledding. The one on the west ended up by Chet McKone’s Phillip’s 66 gas station and the one on the east by Frank Eichoff’s hardware store. Herb Custforth, our town Law Man/Custodian, would often put wooden barriers up on the cross streets between 6-9 p.m. to make it safe for dozens of us to spend the evening sliding down and then walking back up to do it all over again and again and again.
Herb and the firemen also flooded the city park north of the lumber yard for us to use ice skating after the first hard freeze.
Don Bemis, the local junk man, exchanged the tires on his horse-pulled wagon with wooden sleds so that he could continue to pick up garbage, to be pulled out to the dump south of town. And Chuck (Konick) Murray hooked a sled up to his marvelous pony, Prince, and gave rides to his buddies around town.
The city hung Christmas light across the main drag and put up a wonderful Christmas tree on the gigantic flag pole at the intersection of Depot Street and Grove Street (which was know by all of us as Main Street after the original Main had a massive fire years before; so the business district was moved a block south). Retailers got into the Christmas spirit with decorations in their respective store fronts.
Townspeople made sure that they had plenty of coal for their furnaces during the long winter months. Most of us had ‘storm windows’ that were installed over the regular summer, spring, and fall windows.
The athletes from Lawler High, know as the Fighting Irish, worked hard to compete with neighboring schools such as Waucoma, Fort Atkinson, and St. Lucas (never dreaming at the time that in 1960 they would all become one…known to this day as Turkey Valley High!).
Those of us who were paper carriers through those years dreaded the icy mornings delivering the Des Moines Register and Tribune.
Even though we were a dot on the planet’s map…Santa Claus somehow found all of our homes in Lawler on the 24th of December to help us celebrate on the 25th.
Businesses handed out various gifts to customers ranging from calendars to spatulas.
And looking back, I wouldn’t trade that winter months in Lawler, Iowa for all the tea in China.